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How is reasonable suspicion established in a DUI case?

On Behalf of | Jun 16, 2023 | Driving While Intoxicated |

The police are employed to maintain law and order. And part of this involves looking out for and removing drunk drivers from our roads. However, there are rules about what the police can and cannot legally do.

To pull you over for a DUI investigation, a law enforcement officer must observe some kind of questionable driving behavior or another problem that would ordinarily lead to a traffic stop. This is known as reasonable suspicion

What gives rise to reasonable suspicion in a DUI case?

The police will most certainly stop you for a drunk driving investigation if they observe any or some of these driving behaviors:

  • Violating clear traffic rules like speeding or running the red light
  • Erratic speeding and stopping in the middle of the road without cause
  • Weaving in and out of your lane
  • Straddling the center line or hitting curbs
  • Frequent braking that has nothing to do with traffic
  • Nearly striking other vehicles or other roadside objects
  • Driving with your lights off at night

Of course, these driving behaviors might also be indicative that you could be distracted or fatigued. Nonetheless, if law enforcement officers observe you doing one or more of them, they will certainly pull you over to establish what is going on. 

Reasonable suspicion only gives the police the justification to pull you over for a DUI investigation. To charge you for drunk driving, however, the police must have probable cause for your arrest. This is where the result of any chemical and field sobriety tests often come into play.

Protecting your rights

Being charged with drunk driving can be an unsettling experience. Learning more about Massachusetts DUI laws can help you protect your rights and interests when under investigation for drunk driving.